I wrote a few posts in the run up to London Fashion Week about the new (debatably more commercial) arrivals to the catwalk this season. Unlike New York, London has limited the high street attendance to Topshop Unique, preferring to showcase contemporary and premium brands during their catwalk calendar. However, Hunter, Joseph and Whistles all pulled in a crowd for their LFW debuts and here’s how it went down.
Over the last few years wellies (particularly when paired with miniature denim cut-offs) got sexy, and undoubtedly leading that movement was Scottish heritage brand Hunter. When Alasdhair Willis joined the helms as Creative Director and announced the brand’s expansion into outerwear it was clear that the brand would be taking a more luxurious direction. Abandoning the brands Sloaney Pony rep, the collection was an edgy assortment of rubberised rain coats, vinyl trench coats and padded puffa jackets paired with neoprene and knitwear. Balaclavas, contrast panelling and exposed zipper details all toughened up the looks. Rich aubergine, forest green, beige and black were the colour mainstays, with an injection of primary red, yellow and blue to lighten up the collection. A catwalk filled to the brim of water was the stomping ground for ankle, knee high, heeled and lace-up Hunter boots, with Suki Waterhouse leading the model tribe splashing through a sparsely forested runway. If new brands like Stutterheim can make the waterproof sexy, an established brand like Hunter is sure to make waves in the water-resistant space next season.
Women wear Joseph, not girls. The brand has a distinctly grown-up, nonchalant feel to it, and the AW14 collection only reaffirmed this. Luxurious fabrics and roomy silhouettes were the order of the day, as Joseph presented a distinctly masculine, tailored collection. Understated, luxurious knitwear with oversized sleeving was paired with slouchy trousers and premium sweatpants. Double breasted jackets, tailored coats and a funnel necked, asymmetric jacket featured with plaid prints in oxblood, grey, blue and green for a sophisticated colour palette. More lighthearted pieces included a matching knitter sweater and trousers in brighter tones. The brand nodded to Navajo with a selection of fringed leather pieces contrasting with delicate pussy bow tops. Two piece metallic suiting stole the show for me, for a sophisticated look that took the relaxed and cosy Joseph woman from day to night.
Whistles has reaffirmed itself as a cut above the high street, creating sumptuous easy to wear clothing that is reminiscent of what brands like Filippa K are championing back home in Stockholm. For AW14, it’s all about loose, oversized tailored coats in the style of menswear (hooray), modest midi length skirts and slouchy trousers paired with chunky knits. Colours are soft and feminine, with grey as the backbone of the palette and romantic lilacs and dusty blues padding it out. Plaid took centre stage appearing on skirts, scarves and coats, but the standout piece was an emerald green mohair coat set to be on every fashionista’s wish list next season.
NB Images are courtesy of Elle.com and Grazia.co.uk